The programme is designed to increase the number of vulnerable youth successfully starting sustainable businesses and creating new jobs. Despite significant investments in this area, there are systemic challenges persisting for these young people such as lack of access to finance, entrepreneurship training and mentoring. Through targeted country-level projects selected and implemented under a strategic learning agenda and rooted in cross-sector collaboration, the programme is laying the foundation for a youth entrepreneurship ecosystem in selected countries across the region.
Our regional approach is enabling 11 YBI member organisations to work closely together and share knowledge, best practice and methodologies with the aim of tackling youth unemployment in Europe, Russia and Kazakhstan.
Between 2015 and 2019 over 26,000 young people have been supported through the programme, of which:
Youth unemployment rates across Europe remain high (15.3% within EU 28 as of Eurostat, October 2018) and in some cases double or more than double that of the general population (6.7% within EU 28 as of Eurostat, October 2018).
Addressing the youth employment crisis is imperative, not only for the well-being of young people but also to ensure sustainable, inclusive growth and social cohesion globally.
Between 2019-2020, Youth Business Europe is providing 4,500 young people with entrepreneurship skills training, with a strong focus on supporting more women into entrepreneurship. The partnership is helping 1,000 youth to start and grow a business, generating 1,150 new jobs.
YBI is strongly aligned to Citi Foundation’s inclusive commitment to women’s economic empowerment, with the 2019-20 programme having a special focus on women. The programme supports young women into entrepreneurship by making gender a cross-cutting issue and is working to promote women entrepreneurs as role models to inspire more women to start businesses.
The partnership is one of the Citi Foundation’s flagship EMEA programmes, and is part of its Pathways to Progress initiative, which works to prepare and equip urban youth with the tools to thrive in today’s economy.
“I always wanted to launch my own coats brand. I think coats shape the silhouette, they build an identity.”View story
"I decided to try and give more emotion and maybe a new experience to the people that were coming to see us on stage. So, I went to see one of my friends, who was a perfumer and I asked her let’s make the perfume of a song."View story
“The most rewarding thing about being an entrepreneur is having a real impact. Solving a problem for others and making their lives a little easier is what pushes me every single day”.View story
“One year ago, I started taking out salary for myself – then it went from a hobby to a company. That’s when it all became real”.View story
“Financing with Adie was quick and easy. Today, I am very happy, because this project is my choice. It’s an activity that makes sense to me.”View story
“I realized that I had the inner energy to coordinate such a project and strong leadership skills to make people follow me. Before I didn’t even think about it.”View story
“If I had not participated at YBG, I would still have my business, but I would have my limited view. I would have missed out on thoughts of all that is possible for the future. I would not have the wider vision, and the courage to approach improvement and growth, to dare to achieve higher.”View story
“I’ve always seen myself setting up my own business, I only had to wait to access funding. I already had the skills and willpower.”View story
“I wanted to address the lack of proper support for young female professionals, to empower them to build a network of support and overcome struggles like I myself had experienced.”View story
“Curious, determined and courageous.”View story
“I love introducing people to the unique flavours of Ethiopian food. Many of my customers have never tried it before, but after eating at my restaurant they become more adventurous in their food choices!”View story
“I found through studying the science behind successful management, I could offer a new perspective on what effective and successful leadership is.”View story
“Learn about the culture of a new country, region, and city first. Learn from your mistakes. Know yourself, your strengths and your weaknesses.”View story
"Invest in yourself and your future."View story
“In Syria, I was an entrepreneur. That was no coincidence; being an entrepreneur suits me.”View story
"I was working at a summer camp when I discovered not only a new passion but the inspiration that could turn my dream of becoming an entrepreneur into a reality.”View story
"It’s important to set a very clear mission and vision. Entrepreneurship has its ups and downs, so having a mission means that when things get tough, you can remind yourself why you’re doing it."View story
“I faced rejection countless of times after pitching to almost every chocolatier I could find in Belgium. That did not stop me from believing in my dream until someone said yes to take my project to life.”View story
Twenty-five-year-old Azhar Mohamad is originally from Bangladesh but has made Turin, where he’s now set up his own shop, his home.View story
"In the beginning my PR job was quite interesting and I learned a lot but once you’ve written 25 press releases, then you know how to do it and it’s not getting any more exciting, I needed a change."View story
"When you’re young, you don’t have too much to lose. I think it’s better to go out and do your thing and try; and you will fail a lot of times but you will never succeed if you don’t try.”View story
“I wanted a job where I could combine my acting career with being an example for my community.”View story
“When I see my clients, see how different they are and how diverse their backgrounds are, it makes me happy.“View story
“I spent my entire life as an employee, but then I decided to become an entrepreneur. This was the biggest challenge because I needed to change my mindset 100%.”View story
“It was very nice to realize that it was real: I created something at home on my knees and it worked.”View story
“Don’t keep your vision to yourself: there are others willing to share their experience with you and help you turn your dream into reality!”View story
"In my family, no one was an entrepreneur, it was always seen as good to be working for a big company, to have a safe and secure job and that’s what I had always done."View story
“After finishing college I had spent some time soul searching and trying to decide what it was that I enjoyed doing most, what gave me meaning and purpose and I realised that for me it was photography.”View story
“Always be authentic. Don’t let fear rule your life and always stay humble. Trust and believe in yourself, even in the worst moments.”View story
“I’ve managed to get thousands of people to overcome the taboo linked to eating insects by tasting our healthy, sustainable food products.”View story
“Don’t stop after one “no”, always continue looking for other alternatives”.View story
“The most satisfying thing is when people come and have something to eat or drink at my place. To see them, to see the happiness and enjoyment is what keeps me going and gives me a lot of energy.”View story
“As an entrepreneur, I spend more hours at work than before, but these are spent 100% in my own way. I find that taking care of every detail and helping others is priceless.”View story
"You have to be passionate but also very patient!”View story